Author Topic: Pre-Reading activites for "7 Earth-Size Exoplanets"  (Read 5672 times)

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Offline Randall Sadler

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Pre-Reading activites for "7 Earth-Size Exoplanets"
« on: February 28, 2017, 10:54:16 AM »
Post your Pre-Reading Activities for the article "Discovery of 7 Earth-Size Exoplanets a 'Giant Leap' Forward in Alien-Life Hunt" here.  Simply "reply" to this post to make your contribution rather than starting a new topic. These are based on this article:
Find During-Reading and Post-Reading activities for this article in the corresponding sections of the forum!!
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 10:56:57 AM by Randall Sadler »
Randall Sadler, Site Owner
Asst. Prof, Linguistics, U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Offline Bing (bliu50)刘冰洁

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Hana, Alexis, Bing

Objectives: During pre-reading, students will be able to
Talk about the relevant knowledge they already have in groups.
Read the title and look at the picture, predicting the content of this article.
Make a list of questions or ideas they want to read.

Pre-reading activities-Student instructions

A. Group discussion:
1.Do you believe that there is a like-earth planet somewhere in space waiting to be discovered?
  Why or why not?
2. What conditions do you think a like-earth planet has to have in order for lives to live on it?
3. Take a look at the title of the article as well as the picture and its note. What do you think would be introduced in this article.

B. Pair work:
1. Brain storm: Write down some ideas and knowledge about planet and space that you have known.
                       Talk with your partner about your ideas.
2. Prediction:    Write down what you want to learn from this article.
                       Talk with your partner and see if you have different expectations.

After reading this article, you can write down what you learned from it and compare those with your prediction and expectations you made during pre-reading activities .
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 03:11:50 PM by Bing (bliu50)刘冰洁 »

Offline JasonOu

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Re: Pre-Reading activites for "7 Earth-Size Exoplanets"
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2017, 10:15:08 PM »

Jason, Nathan, Olivia

Instruction: Take a look at the title of the text Discovery of 7 Earth-Size Exoplanets a "Giant Leap" Forward in Alien-Life Hunt, and imagine what discoveries of the exoplanets are. Draw down the Earth with some life forms on it and then draw an Earth-size exoplanet with the discoveries you came up with. Afterwards, make a comparison between the Earth and the exoplanet to figure out what conditions are missing on the exoplanet to support life forms.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 03:19:34 PM by JasonOu »

Offline beecorleto

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Re: Pre-Reading activites for "7 Earth-Size Exoplanets"
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 02:12:01 AM »
Target: Higher level proficiencies.

Schema activation -- discussion questions:
1. What is important about the planet Earth? What makes it unique?
2. Where is our sun? What is important about it?
3. What could be important about finding other planets like Earth in the Universe? How could that be helpful for humans/science?
4. Read the title. What does this mean? What can you predict the topic of this article is? What might you learn about in this article?
[Possible need for vocab support in the title: "discovery", "exoplanets", "(giant) leap", "alien-life"]

Reading Vocabulary

[give this w/ meanings to students or just a list depending on level; could ask for meanings post-reading as a test of their context-clue strategies]:
Watershed moment -- significant moment
Quest -- search
Habitable zone/worlds -- a place where animals/plants can grow and survive
Life-bearing -- describing something that can support life (animals, plants)
Telescope -- a tool that allows us to see things that are far away
Goldilocks zone -- reference to something being in the perfect spot in a range of options
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 02:14:23 AM by beecorleto »

Offline hayleypark

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Re: Pre-Reading activites for "7 Earth-Size Exoplanets"
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2017, 10:05:45 PM »

Read the title of the article, "Discovery of 7 Earth-Size Exoplanets a 'Giant Leap' Forward in Alien-Life Hunt," and discuss in groups of 2-3 what the article would be about. On a big piece of paper provided, create a mind map and present it to the rest of the class.

Offline Alexnader

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Re: Pre-Reading activites for "7 Earth-Size Exoplanets"
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2017, 12:44:07 PM »
As a predictive/pre-reading warm-up I would have the students get together and describe all the characteristics of our Planet.

Then I would ask them to predict how they would imagine some of the other 7 planets looking like, and similarly, do a list of their predicted characteristics.

Finally, I would have them get into groups, and using their combined lists of Earth's characteristics, I would have them write up a speech that they would deliver to a crowd of extra-terrestrials, in an attempt to describe what Earth looks like.

Potentially, the class could be divided into two, and each group would represent either Earth/An alien planet, and they would have to write an e-mail to the other group, describing what their respective planet looks like.

You could also have them write an e-mail "back home" describing what it feels like living on the other's planet, from the perspective as an alien (whether human or alien).

Offline mhenehan

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Re: Pre-Reading activites for "7 Earth-Size Exoplanets"
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2017, 09:04:52 PM »
Pre-planning and preparation: Normally, a news article is about a topic that the reader knows something about.  News about the president is normally consumed by someone who knows what a president is.  This news is about exoplanets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star, and I do not know what either of these things are.  So I had to look them up.  The ordinary vocabulary is easy, so in this case, I would overdo explications for the technical terms, so that the reader goes in with the maximum expertise and confidence, which would facilitate the best gleaning of what the “news” is.  There are pauses or elaborations in between each term, name or acronym, allowing them to sink in, so they do not blind the reader during reading.  [There are videos in the article.  I am assuming that I do not have them.]
[Btw, the second sentence is ambiguous between “orbit” being a noun “our own orbit” or a verb “orbit TRAPPIST-1.”  It is worth disambiguating that, since the reader doesn’t even know what TRAPPIST-1 is yet.]   
Pre-reading:  Start with a picture or video of our solar system, simply setting the topic by pointing out that planets orbit the sun.
Have students look at the title.  What is the topic?  Exoplanets.  Exo means outside of.  An exoplanet is a planet outside of our solar system; it orbits a star or sun other than our sun.  By knowing the definition of the word exoplanet, they now know that the article will be about a solar system other than ours. 
Now, technical terms that will make the reading go more easily.  Our sun is called “the sun;” it is a star.  There are other stars with planets orbiting them.  The star in this article is called TRAPPIST-1.  Just as our planets are given names related to Greek mythology [maybe review our planets??], scientists give names to other bodies with references to earthly things.  A Trappist is a monk, in a Catholic order of clerics founded in 1663. star is called TRAPPIST-1.   [Oh rats!  The photos don't copy.  So I am attaching it also.]
Who knows what dwarf means?  It is an ultracool dwarf star.  So it is small.  Can it actually be cool?  [No, but smaller than our sun must be less hot.] 
Who is Goldilocks?  What does she say?  This one is juuuuust riiiiight.  What “just right” characteristic is the article talking about (find out when you read it).  Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who led the first circumnavigation the globe in the early 1600s.  That telescope is in Chile.  Magellan sailed right between the blue and green parts on that map, named the Strait of Magellan.
Just for fun, here are some Scandinavian cookies.  Speculoos CookiesThey provide the nickname of a project at MIT (named for a Norwegian-American) searching for other habitable planets.  If you were a scientist, would you name a project after a cookie?  If so, which one?  What other name would fit such a project?  Think about looking for someplace to live.  Come up and get some cookies and walk around and talk to others about names. 
Now that you know that this article is about another sun, other planets, telescopes, and projects searching for habitable planets, what do you think the “news” is?   What would you like to hear?  Think about it as you snack. 
[Two possible vocabulary words are gauging and tally, but I would not mention them, as they should be comprehensible from the context.]
Marie Henehan

Offline JayEvergreen4

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Re: Pre-Reading activites for "7 Earth-Size Exoplanets"
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2017, 08:25:33 PM »
Hannah, Xin, and Jeanette

[size=0pt]Jeanette--Post-reading[/size][size=0pt][/color]Discuss the reading with a partner and think about what life would be like on these planets.  Brainstorm different characteristics and qualities of one of these planets. You will need to be creative.  If we get to visit one of these planets, what would we find? What would the aliens be like?[/size][size=0pt][/color]Write a creative descriptive paragraph with your partner answering these questions. [/size]

Offline Jiwah

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Re: Pre-Reading activites for "7 Earth-Size Exoplanets"
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2017, 01:13:33 AM »
Jiwah, Krystie, Frank

Pre-Reading Individual Questions:

-          Do you believe in Extraterrestrial Life?
-          What kind of conditions are needed to support basic life?
-          What is a star?
-          What is a solar system – What are key features within our own solar system?

Small Discussion Groups (3-4 people)
Get into groups and make predictions about how these questions might be addressed in the reading and whether or not you believe that your opinion could change based on your answers above and discussion. Also, discuss how findings on these topics are relevant to Earth’s future and research in the field.

Key Words

Telescope - a tool designed to make distant objects appear nearer.
Goldilocks Zone - Our planet occupies what scientists sometimes called the Goldilocks zone. Its distance from our star means it is neither too hot, nor too cold to support liquid water - thought to be a key ingredient for life. Astronomers are searching for rocky planets like ours in the Goldilocks zones of other stars.
Habitable Zone/World/Area – a place where life can develop and survive.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 01:14:21 AM by Jiwah »

Offline xinxiang

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Re: Pre-Reading activites for "7 Earth-Size Exoplanets"
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2017, 12:35:59 PM »
Pre-Reading Activity: Group Discussion

By Hannah, Xin, and Jeanette

Discussion questions:
a. Share your favorite movie featuring life and planets from outer space;
b. Do you want to travel to another planet? And why?
c. Do you know what it means by "light year"?

« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 12:37:03 PM by xinxiang »

Offline Jialian1077

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Re: Pre-Reading activites for "7 Earth-Size Exoplanets"
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2017, 01:54:34 PM »
A pre-reading activity that I think will work for this article is making prediction. Letting students discuss with each other and decide whether some statements related to this topic is true or false will have them activate their background knowledge and make predictions about what they will be reading. [/size]Making predictions: after the teacher briefly introduces the topic of the article, have students decide whether a statement is true or false according to their knowledge and prediction: (A list of statements can be like: )
  • [/size]The seven newly found planets could potentially harbor surface water.  (T/F)
  • [/size]This finding might lead scientists to find lives outside the earth. (T/F)
  • [/size]Although scientists have found them, we still need to wait for decades to know whether they have habitable atmosphere. (T/F)
  • [/size]These planets are pretty close to the earth. (T/F)
[/size]By doing this pre-reading activity, the students can predict the content of the article and also activate their schema.